Past Speakers – 2015

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Allan Smith
November 2015

Alan Smith is an Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist. After a personal bout with identity theft he went on to learn all he could about the dangers of ID theft to the business owner and shares the knowledge he gained with us. He will speak on identify theft and how to protect yourself and family.


Fred Lawson
October 2015

Fred Lawson, of the World Affairs Council, will speak on the global immigration crisis.


Capt. Carl Stewart, SC, USN (Ret.)
August 2015

Carl Stewart is president and co-founder of Honor Flight Bay Area Foundation. This non-profit organization's mission is to transport America's veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.


Barry Murphy
July 2015

Our own Santa Lucia Branch 89 member Barry Murphy will speak on carrier pigeons.


Joe Gunter
May 2015

Salinas Mayor


Fred Lawson
April 2015

World Affairs Council Fred Lawson has had a distinguished dual career, military and civilian. He was raised in the rural town of Aledo, Illinois and entered the Army during World War II as a 17 year old private. He rose through the ranks to later serve as an officer in Korea. He continued his education at the University of Illinois and the Stanford Graduate School of Business while pursuing a civilian career as Vice President of Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corp. Simultaneously he remained in the Army Reserve. In US military circles, he is known as Fred Lawson, Major General (retired) and former Commanding General of the 91st Division.

Throughout his career, Fred has served in executive positions from Vice President of Kaiser Aluminum to Senior Vice President of BHP Minerals, Ltd. He has maintained an active community service record, having served on numerous Boards of Directors and advisory boards over the years. His many honors include Who's Who in Australia, visiting Adjunct Professor, University of Alabama, and the US Army, OCS, Hall of Fame.

Fred's leisure time and career seen to be one and the same. Fred and his wife Peggy retired to Carmel but he continued an active travel/consulting work schedule with frequent trips to Australia and Africa as well as making quarterly trips to Washington for the Department of Defense Reserve Forces Policy Board. Fred's presentation today will be "Russia's new posture in a changing world."


George Grimm
March 2015

George Grimm will will speak on his amazing journey to receive a transplanted heart. George has lived in Salinas for over 55 years and graduated from Salinas High School. He attended Hartnell and San Jose State. Graduated with a degree in Administration of Justice. He married his wife Lynn and have three children and eight grandchildren. George played football, wrestled and played baseball in school. His heart became an issue at the age of 40 with a heart attack. Eventually George had open heart surgery with a 5 way bypass. Three months later a pacemaker/defibrillator was installed.

This is where the story turns; what happened to him does not happen very often.

On November 17 2013 George suffered a heart attack while parking his truck in a parking lot. A qualified off duty paramedic saw the commotion and came over and pulled him out and started to do CPR until first responders came and took him to the hospital where they saved his life. In 2013 George was in the hospital over 35 times. On January 15, 2013 George was not feeling well so he called his cardiologist who told him to come in so he could check him. As George I drove to the doctor he was feeling worse so instead of turning left to his office he turned right into the ER where about an hour and half later he coded four times.

A few days later, Stanford flew George to Palo Alto to start to repair his failing heart. He remained there until the middle of March – with many complications until in May 2013 when he was well enough for doctors to install an LVAD (Left Ventricle Assist Devise) that pumps the left side of heart. This devise is supposed to get the patient better or survive until a heart transplant. After six weeks at Stanford George returned home to recover until he could be listed for a heart transplant.

In October 2013 George was put on the list for a transplant. It usually takes a year or two before a heart becomes available. On Sunday, February 23, 2014, George got a phone call from his daughter and asking if he had read on Facebook that a mutual friend of theirs was on life support and was asking if I would accept his brother’s heart and kidney as a gift of life. Of course George said yes! After 48 hours of surgery, on February 25, 2014, doctors had him up and walking.

From this point on George will describe in detail all of the procedures he had to endure before getting his new heart.


Gary S. Breschini
February 2015

Gary Breschini has been doing archaeology in the Monterey Peninsula area for over 40 years. He received his MA and Ph.D. degrees from Washington State University with specialties in Central California prehistory and archaeology. This lecture will cover a lot of the findings made in the last four decades.

The prehistory of the Monterey Bay area was largely unknown 40 yrs ago when we started our research here, but we have since learned that the Peninsula was occupied at least 9,500 years ago—and perhaps as much as 15,000 years ago. In the last decade or two evidence increasingly points to an early coastal migration southward from Alaska. This was in addition to the inland migration that populated most of North and South America. The early coastal migration reached southern Chile by about 14,800 years ago, so it is possible that Monterey or Carmel bays were used or occupied at least that early.

Another fascinating subject which will be included in the lecture is Indian rock paintings, or pictographs. The mountainous interior of the county has a number of important rock art sites, and the lecture will include photographs of some of these. Finally, we will present information on some recent DNA analyses from the Monterey Peninsula. This new field of research is providing some important clues to our local prehistory, as well as the early coastal migration.

The topic of the lecture will be “The Prehistory of the Monterey Peninsula Area” by Gary S. Breschini and Trudy Haversat.


Gill Campbell
January 2015

Gill Campbell is the CEO/General Manager of the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Born in Exeter, England, Gill Campbell is the ideal person to oversee the world renowned and multi-million dollar Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. She was raised in the automobile industry with the family business selling Morris Minors and two older brothers who raced alongside such greats as Colin Chapman and Stirling Moss. She graduated in History and Drama from Exeter University, St. Luke’s College and went on to become a teacher.

In December 2001, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca called Gill to become the interim General Manager for the racetrack. Two months later, the word “interim” was dropped from the title. During her tenure Gill has overseen a $7.5 million construction project, part of the Master Plan for Laguna Seca, which has resulted in the beautiful premier pit row suites and garages, information trylon and the Red Bull Energy Center. She was also instrumental in bringing the largest spectator event, the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Today the facility hosts five world class race weekends each season with elite road racing series from around the world.

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has won numerous accolades during Gill’s term including a “Hospy” from the Monterey County Hospitality Association, Economic Vitality Award from the Monterey County Business Council and several Business Excellence Awards from the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. Gill, herself, has had many achievements including the recent 2012 Economic Leadership Award from Coalition of Monterey County Chambers of Commerce. She currently as the President of the Road Racing Industry Council and on the Board of Directors of the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additionally she is a sought after speaker, having most recently presented at the Professional Motorsport World Expo in Cologne, Germany.


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